The much anticipated social media platform, Google+ (NASDAQ:GOOG) was officially rolled out and industry experts see this as the greatest threat to Facebook amongst all social media to date. At this point, consumers now have 5 major social media platforms to choose between, each offering their own “niche”. For the first time, a similar platform has been released and takes direct aim at the social media giant founded by Harvard University dropout Mark Zuckerberg.
Thus the expected debate has begun: will Google+ get an edge on Facebook? As of right now it is too early to tell, although Google has allegedly hit the 50 million user mark. Will Google+ will outpace Facebook’s growth over time?
A look inside the key differences:
Mobile App optimized for “Hangout” – One of the most important features of Google+ is “Hangout”. With this, users can stream a live video conference with up to 10 other users. On your mobile device, too! This is a great feature and one that Facebook lacks. Users can share their screen (perfect for sharing documents, photos, maps, etc.). Further enhancing this, the company added “On Air”, a function that allows others to join your broadcast.
Improved Search – Facebook lacks the feature for search within the application. The search is limited to friends, pages, and profiles. Google+ lets users search for relevant posts, greatly helping the networking possibilities and finding relevant contacts. This new feature simplifies the process of connect with other users that are interested in similar topics as the user.
+1 Integration – The company also released their version of the Facebook “like” button in +1. When users +1 something, they give their seal of approval (similar to Facebook), however the key difference is its impact on website visibility. Not crossing the line of search engine optimization, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that websites accumulating +1’s will have favorable visibility on their search engine, if users are signed in to their Google+ account. This creates an easier way for users to view recommended sites by their trusted network.
Although it’s too early to tell, the parallels between the two social media platforms may have consumers having to make a choice to prevent information overload.
Ken Wisnefski is the Founder and CEO of WebiMax, a top SEO and Social Media Firm.